Donald Trump started off strong at the Al Smith Dinner on Thursday night in New York City, cracking jokes about modesty being "perhaps my best quality," but he was eventually booed by the audience after saying his opponent, Hillary Clinton, was in "public tonight pretending not to hate Catholics."
The annual event is a fundraiser for Catholic charities, raising money for needy children. It's held in honor of Al Smith, a New York governor and the first Catholic presidential nominee, and hosted by the Catholic archbishop of New York. Trump spoke before Clinton, and he immediately began ribbing his opponent: "It's great to be here with 1,000 wonderful people, or as I call it, a small, intimate dinner with some friends. Or as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season." Clinton laughed, and Trump added, "Ah, this is corny stuff."
Trump got some groans when he compared himself to Jesus, saying: "I do recognize that I come into this event with a little bit of an advantage. I know that so many of you in the archdiocese already have a place in your heart for a guy who started out as a carpenter working for his father. I was a carpenter working for my father. True, not for a long period of time, about three weeks." The laughs were harder, even from Clinton, when Trump said, "Hillary bumped into me and said, 'Pardon me.' And I said, 'Let me talk to you about that after I get in office.'"
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
His bit took a sharp turn when he said Clinton was "deceiving" people by having a public and a private view on the same matter, and the audience began to boo. Things got downright hostile when he called Clinton "corrupt" and said she was in "public tonight, pretending not to hate Catholics." Watch the video below, and get ready to cringe. Catherine Garcia
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.